After Sri Lanka and Thailand, Vietnam is probably the next destination to offer visa-free entry to the Indians. According to local media, Vietnamese Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung suggested allowing Indians and Chinese to visit without visas for a short period. Currently, only nationals of Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Sweden and Finland can enter Vietnam without a visa.
- In the first 10 months of this year, Vietnam welcomed nearly 10 million visitors. This is a significant increase, approximately 4.6 times higher than last year at the same time. This is even higher than the figure Vietnam hoped to reach by the end of 2023.
Visa-free entry for Indians
Recently, both Thailand And Sri Lanka announced visa waivers for India. Since November 10, Thailand has removed the visa requirement for Indian travelers. This visa waiver allows Indian tourists to stay for 30 days and will remain in effect until May 10 of the following year. The Thai government has also indicated the possibility of expanding the program if demand increases.
In October, Sri Lanka also launched a program allowing visa-free entry to visitors from seven countries, including India, China and Russia, as part of a trial period. The pilot project will remain active until March 31, 2024.
What the first report says:
- Beyond traditional tourist destinations, Indian travelers are now looking for something new, hungry for authentic and immersive experiences, as the article highlights Reservation.comIt is report published in collaboration with McKinsey & Company.
- According to the report, a strong economy, a growing middle class and a relatively young population are attracting these travelers.
Previous articles from Skift explored how Indian travelers are now opting for destinations that don’t require them to navigate the visa application maze.
Oyo Debt Buyback Gets Positive Ratings from Moody’s and Fitch
Oyo recently launched partial repayment of debt through a buyout process. The company said it would use its internal liquidity to repurchase approximately $195 million (30%) of an outstanding loan of $645 million expected in May 2026.
Global Credit Rating Agencies Fitch And Moody’s described Oyo’s decision as positive.
- Moody’s has kept Oyo’s B3 stable rating unchanged.
- Fitch highlighted the positive effect on Oyo’s credit indicators and interest savings.
- Fitch believes the move will improve Oyo’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) and hints at a possible positive rating adjustment.
- Moody’s expects Oyo to achieve adjusted EBITDA of approximately $90 million to $100 million for the 2024 financial year.
- Oyo posted an improvement in its adjusted EBITDA for the six months ending September 30, 2023. It made about $50 million, compared to a loss of $31 million during the same period in 2022.
Fitch Ratings said Oyo’s cash and equivalents could decline to around $80 million from around $280 million in September 2023.
Assuming Oyo repurchases $195 million of its outstanding loans, its total adjusted debt will be reduced to around $450 million. However, Moody’s notes that a rating upgrade is unlikely at this stage due to Oyo’s brief history of positive EBITDA.
Moody’s Investor Services had expected earlier Oyo generate between about $50 million and $55 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization – a measure of profit – this fiscal year.
IndiGo expands its connectivity in Northern Europe
Indigo extends its codeshare connections with Turkish Airlines include Helsinki, StockholmAnd Oslo via Istanbul.
- The connection to Oslo has already started while flights to Helsinki and Stockholm will begin from November 23.
- This expansion increases connectivity to Northern Europe, providing access to a total of 42 destinations beyond Istanbul.
Hilton to introduce Curio Collection by Hilton in India
Hilton Hotel has signed a deal to bring its first Curio Collection hotel to India. The Curio Collection includes upscale hotels that offer “special experiences.” The hotel will be located in Whitefield, Bengaluru, approximately an hour from the Kempegowda International Airport.
The newest property in Whitefield, Bangalore, will have 221 rooms. With Whitefield popular for housing many multinational companies, startups and IT technology companies, the hotel aims to cater to both business and leisure travelers.
In April 2023, Hilton announced the launch of its luxury brand Waldorf Astoria in India. The Curio Collection will join Hilton’s collection of 25 operating and 12 under development hotels and resorts in India. This takes the company’s brand portfolio in India to seven.
Hilton has slowed down the expansion of its operations in India, but according to Alan Watts, Hilton’s Asia Pacific president, although he has been patient in the Indian market, Hilton wants to replicate the Chinese model of success in India.
More countries urge India to increase air operations
Destinations, including United Arab Emirates (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES), Singapore And Indonesiahave urged India to increase seat allocation to their airlines and encourage Indian carriers to expand their flight operations to more destinations within these countries, according to a Hindustan Times report.
However, as of now, none of these requests have been taken into account or implemented.
This call follows a substantial increase in traveler volume, particularly in the period before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent easing of travel constraints.
Other countries that have urged India to increase its flight operations include Qatar, MalaysiaAnd Türkiye.
The government believes that if it allows foreign airlines to increase their operations through more agreements, it could make it difficult for Indian airlines to grow internationally.
How to promote tourism around the Taj? Prepare a master plan
The Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) is working on a plan for a 10,500-hectare area in Agra in a bid to boost tourism around the Taj Mahal.
The authority plans to allocate 7% of an area of 10,500 hectares for tourism activities around the Taj Mahal. YEIDA expects a surge in the number of foreign tourists once the Noida International Airport comes into operation next year.
The authority believes that there is significant potential to establish a strong hospitality industry near the Taj Mahal.
THE Taj Mahal has long been neglected, with some sectors in India keen to rewrite the monument’s history.
Kerala Tourism Investors Meet Attracts INR 150 Billion Investment
Kerala recently held its very first Meeting of tourism investors (TIM), and the State received investment offers totaling 150 billion INR.
- An important agreement was a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Kerala Tourism and Tamara Leisure Experiences.
- The INR 2,500 million deal involves the Bengaluru-based hotel group executing houseboat hotel projects in Alappuzha and Kannur districts.
- The day-long discussions in the state capital concluded on Thursday evening, leading to the Tourism Ministry setting up a dedicated facilitation centre.
- This new center, headed by the Secretary of Tourism, will take prompt action following the results of discussions and business meetings at the investors’ meeting.
The meeting brought together nearly 500 participants, including 46 startups and 118 investors in Responsible Tourism. In total, 75 projects were discussed, including 52 from the private sector.
Of these, 23 were proposed by the tourism department and 16 were proposed as public-private partnerships, with investment bids totaling INR 2.51 billion. Among the 52 private sector proposals, 21 projects secured investment bids of INR 12.61 billion.